23rd Nov2021

‘Puppet Killer’ VOD Review

by Alain Elliott

Stars: Aleks Paunovic, Lee Majdoub, Lisa Durupt, Richard Harmon, Gigi Saul Guerrero, Kyle Cassie, Geoff Gustafson, Beverley Elliott, Johannah Newmarch | Written by Kevin Mosley | Directed by Lisa Ovies

Of course, horror is well known for having killer puppets. Depending on how you define ‘puppet’, there’s been Chucky, Annabelle, Jigsaw and others in films like Poltergeist, Krampus and Dolls. Puppet Killer is the first I remember to feature a fluffy pink puppet though.

Hat puppet and it’s owner are big horror movie fans though and so obviously end up in a cabin in the woods with a murderer (guess who) out to kill the group of friends staying there. It’s predictable but it’s supposed to be. This is a movie clearly made by people who like their old school horror movies, and as this one is a comedy, they have some fun with it and the usual horror movie clichés. To start with the group of friends are ‘teenagers’ but they are clearly not that age at all and they don’t look it. The lead guy in fact (Aleks Paunovic) is over fifty years old. There’s also scenes and moments that are almost exact replicas (but with a pink fluffy puppet) as some classic horror movies. These include but are not exclusive to, Nightmare On Elm Street, Friday the 13th, Halloween, The Blair Witch Project, The Shining and Black Christmas. My favourite being the slightly more subtle Friday the 13th score moment. Despite being very obvious to fans of horror, these moments will put a smile on your face.

Horror fans will also recognise a few of the faces too. With director Gigi Saul Guerroro (Bingo Hell, ABC’s of Death 2.5) having a cameo and directing duo The Soska Sisters (American Mary, See No Evil 2) even having a more extended role – and putting in some of the better performances of the cast. In the lead Paunovic, an actor who I’ve seen in a quite a lot of movies and generally enjoy, does struggle a little bit with the comedy aspects of the movie. It doesn’t ruin the movie but his delievery and timing was a bit off for me.

There is some fun to be had with the pink puppets and the death scenes. There’s plenty of blood and gore, thankfully all with practical effects as the red liquid flows and the bodies insides get pulled apart. It doesn’t hold anything back with the violence even if it’s all with a comedic edge.

Unfortunately Christmas isn’t used well as a setting and Puppet Killer doesn’t feel anywhere Christmassy enough. It is clear set at that time of year but things like the decorations and tree seem a bit half hearted. I wanted Christmas-themed deaths and much more snow at the very least.

Due to a few legal issues this has taken a long time to get a U.K. release and whether it is worth the wait….. I’m not quite sure. But there’s definitely an audience for this and people that will love it. It has that low budget horror comedy style down nicely and it only improves as it goes on.

Puppet Killer is released on digital on November 30th, courtesy of Central City Media. You can also check out our review of the film from its US debut right here.

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